“Take a deep breath. Inhale peace. Exhale Happiness”
As the mask mandates begins to lift here in North America, we begin to crawl out from our caves as hibernation is over for the winter. Like a bear that hibernates, we too may have put on some extra weight from being stuck in our homes for years now. As we reintegrate with society, we find that we have entered a post covid apocalypse that is a breeding ground for anxiety. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the isolation we were all subject to created a lack of social connection that we find paramount to an enjoyable human experience. Further troubling us was our new working conditions. If Covid didn’t dismantle our industry and was kind enough to leave us with a job, we now had to do it from home. All these new stresses in our lives, forced us to learn some new coping mechanisms to fight anxiety. Just because we are starting to return to some sort of normalcy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring these tools with us into the future. Covid may be gone, but anxiety is here to stay. This month (May) is mental health month, and we are starting to see society recognize the burden mental health can have on people more and more. As we seek to solve the mental health epidemic facing us, here are three ways to be on the winning side of anxiety in the post Covid-19 apocalypse.
Switching from coffee to chai
Breathe Your Way Through Anxiety
Meditation is not a new mechanism to fight anxiety by any means, its time tested and can have powerful results. Meditation as a concept and practice can really help us to focus inwards. It aims to center our thoughts, to reset or recharge them, to align our chakras and cleanse our aura. It also brings us back to the moment, where we are not worried about the past, or stressed about the future. Anxiety itself is defined as the fear of the unknown, and typically manifests itself in future seeking. Being where our breath is means we aren’t morbidly reflecting on the past and we aren’t future seeking, we are in the moment focused solely on our breathing. This gives us an opportunity to clear our chakras and mind while resetting our intentions. Also, the more oxidized our blood is, the lower our heart rate becomes and the calmer we feel. Therefore, breathing quite literally is the most natural way to fight stress. Many of us never thought that breathing, something we use every second of every day could be the secret ingredient to a healthy life, when used mindfully with these intentions.
By doing important breathing exercises we can lower our anxiety and blood pressure, which leads to a better night’s sleep, sharper mental cognition and an improved mindset. Meditation can also help to excise any negative thoughts that may persist in weighing us down. There are many different techniques we can use to meditate, but the goals all have a common purpose: fight anxiety and return to the moment with clear intentions. For these reasons, we believe breathing can land you on the winning side of anxiety.
We have written about various types of breathing exercises before. You can check them out in the link below.
Switching from Coffee to Chai
A simple lifehack to fight anxiety while getting your daily dose of caffeine is changing from Coffee to Chai. Coffee can leave us with stomach pain, and caffeine crash and has little health benefits. The coffee crash and caffeine spikes can also quickly put us in a state of anxiety. When it comes to coffee alternatives, chai has been used for centuries in Indian society to calm the nerves, reduce anxiety and help achieve the Zen-like meditative practices of its Yogi’s. The health benefits of drinking chai are numerous and include anxiety fighting spices, as well as black tea that benefits heart health. Spices such as cinnamon, ginger and black and white pepper work to improve brain function which dissipates any sluggish cognitive feelings that can bring on anxiety. Likewise, cardamom together with black tea is excellent for lowering blood pressure. Many people believe there is a calming effect from sipping a cup of tea but don’t know why. The secret to this calming effect is an amino acid called L-Theanine that features properties that help to spike brain waves, as dopamine levels go up, putting us into a state of focused calm. L- Theanine is commonly used to fight anxiety and is found in health food stores in pill form. This powerful amino acid has a cult following in the natural remedy world and has begun to garner a lot of attention. Naturally occurring in tea, it is the main reason we feel calm after drinking a cup of tea.
Crashing from coffee’s caffeine spikes can leave us in much worse condition mentally than when we had our first sip of coffee. This crash state is a breeding ground for anxiety. Tired, restlessness can force our mind to drift away from the moment, anxiously seeking another cup. Tea delivers caffeine more steadily to our blood stream without spikes. This ultimately means no caffeine crash and no anxious mental state at the end of the cup. In fact, caffeine will continue to be evenly distributed to the blood long after the cup of tea is done. Tea itself has a medically sought-after amino acid designed to help fight anxiety. The masala spices that chai also contains further aid in combating stress, making it the perfect drink for the post Covid apocalypse.
Reconnect with Mother Nature
Our human problems feel less significant when we are lost among the trees, or even just outside. During the Covid-19 pandemic the amount of time that people have had to spend inside has generally increased, but it has also forced us to find more chances to get outdoors by facing the alternative of going stir crazy. Whether this was a family walk or a stroll through nature, we found ourselves getting outside more. Since more and more people have had to work from home, they have not been able to experience the social connections and relationships of office life. This time away from the office has also afforded many people a re-dedication to their family life, as they get to spend more time surrounded by their loved ones. This family time has enabled people to take the time to go outside and get fresh air together, an act that can really help to revitalize our overall well-being. Spending time in the sun; even as little as 10 minutes, can have a massive effect on our general happiness. By getting a strong boost of Vitamin D, along with improving our serotonin levels, natural sunlight is a great tool to help combat anxiety.
Being amongst nature can remind us how vast the universe is and how small our problems are relative to it. That even though we are stuck on our problem, the rest of the universe has moved on and maybe it’s time for us to follow suit. Going for a walk in a park, forest or close to a body of water can be particularly beneficial as the air from the grass, trees or water is some of the freshest available to us. Taking several deep breaths in such environments can give us the energy and mental clarity we need to continue our day with a clear mind, thus leading to a better attitude. Taking the time to be outdoors can also increase our immunity to disease, as trees produce clean oxygen, plants give off phytoncides, that can help decrease cell imbalance and sunlight strengthens our T cells, that work against infection. Try meditating outside for an added boost and breathe in the fresh air as it helps to recharge our chakras, brighten our aura and retune our mindset. Getting outside is a tool some of us acquired during the pandemic, but now all of us should use it in the post Covid-19 apocalypse.
“A walk in the nature walks the soul back home”
― Mary Davis
Covid 19 has changed the world we live and interact in today. The stifling mental health epidemic that stemmed from isolation and other by products of Covid-19 needs to be addressed. These three simple changes can help you get on the winning side of anxiety in the post Covid-19 apocalypse. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased awareness and public perception of what it means to practice and promote strong mental health. May is mental health awareness month. It has become an increasingly high priority to shine a light on the importance of mental health, and what can be done to treat anxiety. These life hacks can help you live a richer and fuller life, not allowing anxiety to circumvent us from being happy.